The psychological study of women and of sex roles has become an increasingly important subfield within psychology since we first began thinking of writing this book in the late sixties. At that time, there was little empirical research on women, and there were no comprehensive books on empirical psychological research relating to women. It was then that we decided to survey what literature we could find in various psychological writings so that we could better understand ourselves as women and psychologists and so that we could begin to integrate this material into a coherent statement. We formed a teaching team which planned and taught a course called "The Psychology of Women" at the University of California at Los Angeles. As we taught what we had learned, our ideas began to further evolve and coalesce. We finally felt ready to begin writing this book.
We have all been teaching courses in the psychology of women or the psychology of sex roles since that time. This book represents our current thinking about the empirical research and theory in these areas. It is intended to be a basic text for courses in the psychology of women, sociology of women, women's studies, and sex roles. With our backgrounds in various areas of psychology, we have been able to write a book which provides a wide and basic coverage of the major subfields within psychology. However, our common focus has been to review the research and theory in all areas of psychology relevant to women from a social psychological perspective.
We all share a feminist perspective. We hope that the material in this book will not only add to the scholarly understanding of women and sex roles, but that it will also help women and men to achieve greater freedom of